A lobbyist from the firm that advises energy firm Ineos, which was involved in a biter industrial dispute with Unite the Union, is now working as a key member of Andy Burnham’s leadership team.
Katie Myler, a former special adviser to Burnham when he was health secretary, now works for international lobbying company, Burson-Marsteller.
They claim on their website that their staff have provided “senior counsel” to the Ineos “CEO and management team” during “the Grangemouth industrial dispute.”
Back in 2013, 800 staff at the petrochemical plant in Falkirk threatened to go on strike after management brought forward a survival plan, which included a three-year pay freeze and changes to pensions.
Unite later relented in a bid to save jobs.
Myler was appointed as director of communications for Burnham’s campaign last week, after taking a sabbatical from Burson-Marsteller where she works as a managing director, according to a report in PR Week.
She joins fellow lobbyist, John Lehal, who is acting as campaign director.
His company, Insight Consulting Group, has worked for a string of private medical companies, according to reports in this morning’s Independent.
The revelations will come as a major embarrassment to Burnham, who has made much of his opposition to private sector involvement in the NHS.
He is also thought to have the active support of Unite and has pitched himself as the main centre-left challenger for the Labour leadership.